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Pancho's Message From Tijuana

Jun 18, 2019, 26 comments, 62 smiles For 93 days, Pancho walked from Oakland to the Mexico border, building living bridges across human hearts, wherever life took him. Earth Familia. As Angela summarized, "Pancho carried no food, no water, no currency, no intoxicants, no doubts. Just love!" Here is Day 1 blessing before he departed, on March 12th, the anniversary of the Gandhi's salt March: At the border, he climbed up the metal rods and barbed wire, to represent an Earth flag. Randall shared, "To see Pancho express his 'One Earth' vision so directly to the dehumanized machine sends chills down our spine ... because it reminds us of our own humanity." To every interrogation question, he responded with his unflinching broader frame. Where are you from? Planet Called Earth. How old are you? 4.6 billion years. Do you have an ID? No, just my humanity. Anything else? I want you to know that I love you. He was released into ... Read Full Story

Two Months After My Father Passed Away

Mar 06, 2018, 4 comments, 35 smiles [Below is what I shared at our last Awakin Circle, following Wisdom of Grieving reading and John's opening.] Being in this circle, today, I think a mystery of my life might've solved itself. This was a long time back. I was 19 or so, when I lost my Dad. He was just 47 and there were no signs that we would lose him. One fine day, we just lost him. I was very close to him, so this was a particularly difficult time for me. Culturally, in India, the grieving process is not very private, because everybody in the immediate and extended family, friends, neighbors and even those who don't know you all that well, would all want to be with you. That's actually quite helpful, particularly with the denial stage of the grieving process -- because the community support really helps you accept things as they are. We were six sisters, and I ... Read Full Story

When Gary Zukav Came As A Guest Listener

Apr 29, 2016, 2 comments, 26 smiles A couple of weeks ago, our Awakin Circle had two inspiring guest listeners -- author Gary Zukav, and his wife Linda! We opened with Gary reading the weekly passage on reverence -- authored by him 25 years ago. :)  Anne-Marie had thoughtfully selected the passage, from his book that she had originally read in her teens! Then, we went around the circle, with about sixty five of us sharing a few words about what reverence meant for us.  Then, we put Gary on the spot and asked him to share a few words.  He gracefully obliged, and shared some great insights and stories from his personal journey.  Here's the audio recording. If you don't know of his story, here's is a telling anecdote from the preface by Oprah:   I first read The Seat of the Soul in 1989. As with all books I'm excited about, I had also bought copies for my friends and colleagues ... Read Full Story

Arya -- Bringer Of Blessings

Sep 04, 2015, 6 comments, 31 smiles Over the last five years, perhaps the most commonly referenced name at our local Awakin Circle would be Hafeez -- because he's our humorous time-keeper (among other things). :) Alongside Hafeez, his brother Faruk also started attending.  And got to learn a lot more about them, like how Hafeez runs 100 mile races and Faruk competed in Jujitsu tournaments! Little less than two years ago, a girl named Parveen would join Hafeez -- and they ended up getting married, bought a house, and soon announced that they were going to be parents!  Two weeks back, right after the Awakin Circle, Parveen felt contractions, Hafeez took her to the hospital and by next morning, they were parents of a beautiful baby girl -- Arya!  The following Wednesday, we had two first-time guests in our circle: Hafeez and Faruk's parents! When "Grandma Shammi" spoke, she shared effusive gratitude about how these Awakin Circles felt like a miracle to her: "Arya ... Read Full Story

The Flow Of Divine Feminine :)

Jun 25, 2015, 29 smiles Last week, a young woman Israeli woman joined our local Awakin Circle; she still remembers being given a machine gun at the age of 17 and then going on to become a commander in the Army. But now, she is turning her life completely around to start a Peace Army. When it was her turn to speak in the circle, she stumbled for words: "I'm just, just speechless, right now. My heart is overflowing . Thank you." It so happened that another mother of a 5 year old had created peace cranes as offerings to everyone. If anyone were to open any of the origami pieces, you would find one of our four words -- grace, awareness, compassion, kindness -- and an invisible prayer from the heart. A grandmother said her own prayers for my mother, so I honored her good wishes by making a sweet dish for everyone. In this week's circle, ... Read Full Story

Blessings At Our Doorstep

Jan 22, 2015, 11 comments, 34 smiles It was late Friday night. Dinesh and I were in our bedroom, and most of the lights in our house were out when, all of a sudden, we start hearing these loud thump, thump, thump noises at our window. Initially it sounded like gun shots. Although there was the initial reaction of fear, we had to do something. When I managed to sneak in a look, I saw a medley of eggs, oranges, and such coming at our window. I remember the first time our house was egged, and just feeling voilated by the random act of vandalism. As I cleaned up the egg yolks from our outside walls and windows the next morning, I did it consciously and took it as a practice in equanimity. Nipun told me a story of Howard Thurman, whose neighbor would throw chicken broth over the fence everyday simply because of the color of his skin; ... Read Full Story

We Inspire Each Other

Aug 27, 2014, 1 comments, 20 smiles As I was getting ready to leave for work, mailman delivered a box. It was one of the unusual days when I was not running late. It was addressed to Service Space Mom and Service Space Dad. I opened carefully wrapped and nicely packed box from an anonymous sender. It had a beautiful spoon rest with hand crafted inscription "Made with love and Gratitude for SS Mom for all inspiration" on it. In a separate bag marked "for Service Space Dad" there were 3 hand crafted gifts -- Kindness, Gratitude and "Peace begins with Smile." It also happened to be the birthday of ServiceSpace Dad, and I found myself thanking the Universe for such a poignant reminder of receiving unexpected gifts, paying it forward, and raising awareness around our deep interconnected-ness. The gifts found home with four ServiceSpace family members who practice Kindness, Gratitude and Service all the time and came to help me chop vegetables for Awakin circle (even though two of them were flying out the next day). Thank you for the beautiful and anonymous gifts. We inspire each other.      

Art At Kindness Temple

Aug 10, 2014, 15 comments, 25 smiles As our friend Eduardo came in this morning, his eyes were wide open in amazement -- at how our front yard was transformed in just one day! The weeds were cleared, organic soil and organic manure were mixed in from the back yard, and the straight line of the 18’’ adjoining wall of the balcony was transformed into a modern art without touching the sprinkers. The material that was used was already back in tool shed, leaving no trace behind. Olive tree that we had been gifted found a perfect spot, and the leaves were already dancing with joy. And now, the space was ready for edible flowers that I have been dreaming of planting for a long time. It all happened because of Joserra -- who we had the privilege of hosting with us for a few days.  What a generous heart he is. In informal conversations with Joserra, I had learned ... Read Full Story

Ganoba-ji Inspires, Even Through His Passing

Jul 29, 2014, 25 comments, 19 smiles While meditating yesterday morning, I felt a strong urge to go meet with Ganoba-ji in the hospital. As many of you may know, he and his wife used to come to Awakin Circles throughout the last decade. After his wife's passing, Ganoba-ji spent more time in the bay-area and would come regularly. In fact, even during those times when he wasn't local, we would get his RSVP every single week -- because he wanted to listen to the audio recordings. He blessed many of us, in beautiful ways. So, after Dinesh and I finished our meditation, we left a message for both his daughters (Vandana and Sarita) to see if we could visit him. In just a span of couple weeks, Ganoba-ji's went from normal health to not being able to breath with a respirator. We didn't hear from the daughters, but we figured they must be occupied -- and went ... Read Full Story

My Neighbor, Mira-ben

Apr 10, 2014, 10 comments, 13 smiles When I was in 2nd grade, one of our close neighbors was Gandhian family. One of the daughters of the family was Miraben, who was one of the pioneering Gujarati authors. Their entire family was rooted in a kind effortless virtue that made them very lovable -- and respectable. Seeing a woman become a writer, in those days, gave me a subtle sense of confidence that I too could do the same. I owed her a huge debt of gratitude, but over time, we had all moved and lost touch. Decades later, one fine Wednesday, when Mahendra Meghani (whose father Gandhi named as India's national poet) was a guest speaker at our Awakin Circle, a elderly couple walked in as guests. It was Mira-ben and her husband, Mahendra-bhai! At first, we didn't recognize each other. As affinities go, though, we somehow started talking and invited them to Dinesh's music gathering on ... Read Full Story